It's finally here, folks! High school football in Texas is where it's at, and it doesn't get any better than here in the Metroplex.
With the season kicking off today for some area teams, I'm going to look forward to some great games in Week Zero that are on tap for Friday and Saturday, and then have my Game of the Week for you on Friday.
Hebron at Wylie, Friday at 7:30 p.m. -- Both of these teams have plenty of new faces from successful programs a year ago. Hebron comes back after an area-round finish last year, a disappointing finish by Hebron's high standards. They do so with a stout defense that's full of experienced returners. However, on offense, the Hawks bring back just four starters. Wylie is in a similar boat, and lost perhaps its two best players from last year's state runner-up team in QB Jerod Monk and NT Nikita Whitlock. But the Pirates, or AHMO as they love to call themselves, return 11 players and should have an edge -- especially at home. Prediction: Wylie 24, Hebron 20
Everman at Waxahachie, Friday at 7:30 p.m. -- These are two proud, smashmouth programs who will go at it and as my middle school football coach used to say, "make 'em blow snot bubbles" -- as in they'll hit you, really hard. Everman enters the season as the state's fifth-ranked Class 4A team. While the Bulldogs don't return their stud RBs from last year, this team always reloads at that position without much problem. 'Hachie is getting overlooked a bit on the local level, if not the state level. The Indians are loaded at offensive line and in the skill positions with five offensive starters returning. Everman will take this one though. Prediction: Everman 31, Waxahachie 24
DeSoto at Cedar Hill, Saturday at 6 p.m. -- The "Battle of the Beltway" pits these longtime rivals against one another in what should be an epic showdown as evidenced by the fact that it's going to be nationally televised on ESPN. Cedar Hill is one of the favorites to win a 5A state championship this year behind all-world running back Ben Malena and junior QB Driphus Jackson. The Longhorns also have one of the top defenders in the state in linebacker Aaron Benson. DeSoto isn't short of the starpower though, as the Eagles tout speedy RB Marcus Murphy, tackle Evan Washington, WR Darius Terrell, and DB Adrian White -- the latter two will be signing with Texas in February if they stick to their word. Prediction: Cedar Hill 38, DeSoto 23